Drones are now widely used in public and private projects for better visualization of the work. This aircraft without a human pilot has been used for documentaries of Kushiara power plant or Mohipal flyover. Not only in projects, drones are now also used in the production of dramas, movies and advertisements.
Three students of electronics department at Chittagong Polytechnic Institute-- Jahed Hossain, Tanvir Hassan and Fahim Jawad-- have made a multipurpose drone that will help combat fire, reduce traffic jam, identify bombs and mines and capture movements of criminals.
They said the gadget can be controlled by a remote. The drone was showcased at a three-day digital innovation fair in the ground next to MA Aziz Stadium in Chittagong on February 23.
However, the drone users do not call it drone, they rather call it quadcopter, which is used in the shooting of movies. Its use is prohibited without permission, they said.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) in 2014 banned the flying of aircraft without any human being in the sky of Bangladesh on security grounds. Later, in 2016 the CAAB approved a draft regulation titled `regulation for operating remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS).
According to the draft regulation, drones can be used in places where there is no airport at the consent of CAAB and local police administration. Businesspersons will have to get permission from the commerce ministry even for importing aircraft games for children.
Drone users say they want an easy and simple policy for its use. They also suggest drones can be registered if needed. If the use is made legal under registration system it would help government earn revenues and generate employment.
Many advertisements can be seen for renting and selling drones on Facebook.
Monir Hossain, one of the owners of Drone Rent, and Kamran of Drone Shop Bangladesh, said they rent drones. To hire a drone in Dhaka It costs one Tk15,000 per day including an operator. If the drone is operated outside Dhaka the operator will have to give extra pay for accommodation and food.
Drones are also sold for Tk2 lakh to Tk5 lakh based on their categories. The higher priced drones can fly with cameras. If anybody wants to buy a drone s/he will have to pay 70% of money in advance. One has to learn to operate drone by themselves, they said. “We do not cooperate on the matter,” Kamran said.
He said most of the drones are imported from China, Singapore and Malaysia. Many dismantle the parts of the drones as there is a chance of being caught in the airport.
The owners said it is not possible to bring the drones by declaring in the customs. But many people manage the customs officials. One has to take permission from the ministries of commerce and civil aviation and defence to import drones.
Monir said he had not seen anybody get permission to purchase drones, but got approval for flying them.
A drone was used in the shooting of recently released movie Aynabaji. But the movie’s director Amitabh Reza dubbed the gadget as quadcopter instead of drone.
Amitabh, who is also an advertisement maker and owner of a production house, said many people have no idea where they should apply for drone and it might take time. “If I apply for approval I have to wait for shooting maybe until 2030. This situation cannot persist.
“We need a proper solution to it or we will shoot by drones secretly. So there should be a regulation.”
Recently, Customs Intelligence has seized a “highly advanced” drone from a US citizen at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport. The 22-year-old US citizen, Mark Rumam Kutrovsky, was on his way back to the United States, and his flight was scheduled to leave around 1pm on January 29 Monday.
Custom official said that time, Drones are import-controlled products and Kutrovsky’s one was seized due to lack of authorization, keeping state security in mind.”
The Detective Branch detained four Turkish citizens along with drones on December 6 last year from a Rohingya camp in Cox’s Bazar’s Ukhiya. They were released later and the drone was seized.
Dr Moinul Khan, recently transferred from Director General of Custom Intelligence to Customs Valuation and Internal Audit as Commissioner, told the Dhaka Tribune that the use and import of drone is banned without permission. People are illegally selling and using these gadgets.
“We are taking measures against them and seized drones on various occasions,” he said.
AKM Faizul Haque, deputy director (Air transport & Regulations) of Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh said they do not have the authority to grant permission to buy drone. They only approve to fly it.
He said one has to submit bunch of papers to get permission for flying a drone. “First s/he needs to get no objection certificate from the related authorities. Other things include catalog of the drone, ensuring that the drone operator is skilled and adult, insurance document, map of the area the drone will be flown.
“The application will be sent to the defence ministry for clearance. The ministry will hold a meeting and issue clearance after scrutiny. It might take at least two months,” Faizul said.